Elias says Orioles have 'great list of names' as managerial possibilities - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Elias says Orioles have ‘great list of names’ as managerial possibilities

Photo courtesy of Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles are still searching for a manager, and Mike Elias hasn’t indicated who the leading candidates are nor when he might make the hire.

In a Thursday night interview on the “Orioles Hot Stove” show on 105.7 The Fan, the Orioles’ GM said: “We need a manager first and foremost,” but offered no specifics.

“Step one is getting the leader in place, getting the manager in place,” Elias said. “That’s first and foremost really on my agenda right now. I’m working on that very deeply.”

Elias said that the Orioles “have done a ton of background work,” on candidates. He said that research by Sig Mejdal, his assistant GM for analytics, and the front office staff had been done “on dozens of candidates.”

No other major league team has a managerial vacancy, and Elias has found advantages in that. The Orioles have no competition for a manager, and he’s been able to talk openly with other teams about specific individuals.

“We’ve got a great list of names,” Elias said. “I have pared it down quite a bit. We’ll see what happens in terms of process and timing, but I feel like we are well past phase 1 of this search.”

The deadline for tendering contracts for the Orioles’ five arbitration-eligible players is 8 o’clock tonight, and while it’s certain the team will offer contracts to Dylan Bundy, Mychal Givens and Jonathan Villar, the futures of catcher Caleb Joseph and infielder Tim Beckham are uncertain.

“Not much happens until right before the deadline,” Elias said. He said his staff has had “preliminary conversations” about signing quickly and avoiding arbitration with some of the players.

Elias said that after the manager is hired, coaching vacancies will be filled, and that he wants the manager’s input on a successor to Ron Johnson as the Triple-A Norfolk manager.

“In my view, the spots on the major league staff belong to the manager, rightly,” Elias said. “The ideal way is to collaborate, but I will yield to the new manager’s opinions on these spots as much as possible.”

He also said that he hoped to make additional analytic and international scouting hires “in the near term.”

At the conclusion of the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, the Orioles will have the first pick of the Rule 5 draft on Dec. 13, and Elias indicated the team would be making a selection.

“I don’t know who we’re going to pick,” Elias said. “I would expect that with us having the first pick in the Rule 5 draft that we will make use of that opportunity. I think there are some good options out there. We’re looking for the biggest talent available.”

The Orioles have made Rule 5 selections in each draft since 2006, the longest streak in the majors.

During his interview process with Executive Vice President John Angelos and Ownership Representative Louis Angelos, Elias became more familiar with the Orioles’ minor league talent.

He mentioned minor league pitchers Keegan Akin, DL Hall, Dean Kremer, Zac Lowther and Grayson Rodriguez.

“I think these guys are for real,” Elias said.

Elias also said that when he was an area scout, he was impressed by Branden Kline, who was added to the 40-man roster last month.

Next June, the Orioles will have their second top pick in the First Year draft in franchise history, and while fans are familiar with Texas high school shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., Elias wouldn’t say which way he is leaning.

“I think there are more than two options for this pick right now,” Elias said. “I’m pretty familiar with the top of this draft, but I expect to become way more familiar with it going forward. I think there are multiple options right now, and then make a decision as late once we’ve gathered all the information.”

Elias selected Carlos Correa when Houston had the top pick in the 2012 draft.

“I know how to do this process,” Elias said. “I know how to do it well, and we’re going to do real well with the pick.”

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Ekim

    November 30, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Here’s hoping!

  2. Orial

    November 30, 2018 at 8:35 am

    Hiring a manager is almost an afterthought at this point. The casual fan will clamor for a Girardi,Dusty Baker type hiring but I’m sure Elias will keep it simple and to his liking. As much as I appreciated Buck a total oposite is what it will take. Take your time Mr Elias—just build that organization.

    • OsfaninNC

      November 30, 2018 at 10:01 am

      I agree–no retread managers. I’d like to see someone new, like a Joe Espada or I’ve seen some calling for Carlos Beltran. We shall see

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 30, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      Orial, the casual fan will pick a familiar name. When Buck Showalter was hired by the Yankees or Joe Maddon by the Devil Rays, casual fans weren’t familiar with them.

  3. Sisco Kid

    November 30, 2018 at 9:45 am

    As much as I am one of those fans clamoring for Witt, we’ve got to trust Elias to make the right decision. I’ve loved this hire from the start, and I think it was the right hire, but I have some trepidation about Elias’ first pick this upcoming year.
    Looking back at his previous picks, the obvious standouts are Correa (1.1) and Bregman (1.2). Elias has absolutely nailed those picks and they are cornerstone players who will define the Astros for the foreseeable future.
    On the other hand, his other top picks have been Mark Appel (never made it to the majors) and Brady Aiken (didn’t sign and was drafted in the following year by the Indians).
    So right there is why I’m praying and hoping for Witt. Elias nailed the picks that were infielders. The picks that were pitchers were about the biggest misses you can get.
    So, while I’m cautiously optimistic, I’m really hoping Elias sticks to what appears to be his strong suit and drafts an infielder at No. 1 overall. This isn’t the time to get cute and find someone else, we need to draft a guy that will be a slam dunk franchise cornerstone.

  4. Sisco Kid

    November 30, 2018 at 9:48 am

    As much as I am one of those fans clamoring for Witt, we’ve got to trust Elias to make the right decision. I’ve loved this hire from the start, and I think it was the right hire, but I have some trepidation about Elias’ first pick this upcoming year.
    Looking back at his previous picks, the obvious standouts are Correa (1.1) and Bregman (1.2). Elias has absolutely nailed those picks and they are cornerstone players who will define the Astros for the foreseeable future.
    On the other hand, his other top picks have been Mark Appel (never made it to the majors) and Brady Aiken (didn’t sign and was drafted in the following year by the Indians).
    So right there is why I’m praying and hoping for Witt. Elias nailed the picks that were infielders. The picks that were pitchers were about the biggest misses you can get.
    So, while I’m cautiously optimistic, I’m really hoping Elias sticks to what appears to be his strong suit and drafts an infielder at No. 1 overall. This isn’t the time to get cute and find someone else, we need to draft a guy that will be a slam dunk franchise type of player.

    • OsfaninNC

      November 30, 2018 at 10:03 am

      The interesting thing on Correa and Bregman—Elias said they weren’t the popular top pick by most projections, but they were the top choice of the Astros. Makes you feel good with him at the helm with #1 pick in hand

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 30, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      Sisco, it will be interesting to see who Elias takes.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 30, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      NC, Bergman was drafted in 2015, a year after the Astros failed to sign Brady Aiken. He wasn’t the top overall choice, but a wonderful one.

  5. SpinMaster

    November 30, 2018 at 10:42 am

    The tone of Elias’ comments, as related by Rich makes me feel that Elias is sure how to handle the steering wheel of the Orioles ship. If you just look at him and listen to his comments, he certainly projects an image of positivity in knowing what has to be done and how to do it.
    As as O’s fan, I really feel that John and Lou hired the perfect guy to lead this team.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 30, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      It’s been an interesting few weeks, Spin.

  6. PA Bird Lover

    November 30, 2018 at 11:55 am

    From my standpoint, O’s fans should sit back and relax somewhat. Nothing a fan might say should influence our young GM. No one on this board was interviewed for the job. ME is the man. He and his helpers know the most about talent and mental makeup. I for one will be sticking with the decisions ME makes.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      November 30, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      I love ME some ME!

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 30, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      Hard to relax with all these moves coming, PA.

  7. PC in OC

    November 30, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Is BUCK, on his list. If not, Please, Please consider BUCK. Who out there is more Qualified. Think About It!

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 30, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      PA, Buck is not on that list, so we can move on.

  8. BirdsCaps

    November 30, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    I find it somewhat interesting that he is consulting his statistician (Mejdal) to help with the managerial search. I’m assuming that he is going to make sure that the manager’ thoughts on sabermetrics are the same as Mejdal’s. However, with that in mind, I wonder if the current regime is going to greatly restrict the freedom of the manager. Theoretically, if the organization is totally reliant on sabermetrics, the front office could just hand the manager a list of instructions to be carried out which align with the metrics (think restrictions put on minor league managers). With this much influence from the statistician, this could be a possibility.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 30, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      The choice will be an interesting one, BirdsCaps.

  9. cedar

    November 30, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    I like what Elias had to say about the relationship between the managers at the majors and AAA levels.

    Rich – The consistent message up and down the minors isn’t new, but what about the major league manager participating in hiring the AAA manager. Is that common in baseball?

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 30, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      I’m not aware of it. It’s usually the purview of the GM and farm director, Cedar.

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